The Cooperative Research Centres Association is a not-for-profit organisation operating to promote the pursuit of science, particularly through the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

You don’t have to be a CRC to join, find out more about our types of membership and benefits of joining the assocization.

Global Collaboration Is Essential:

Many of the problems that confront us in Australia also affect other countries. Issues related to climate change are not uniquely Australian challenges; nor is water and energy supply; food or security both for citizens and nations, to name just a few. Enduring links with the rest of the world are important to find workable solutions. Any country with aspirations for the future seeks to collaborate with others in these endeavours. As the Chief Scientist put it: Global collaboration is essential, not an optional add-on.

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Showcasing Early Career Researchers 2014 Finalists

Dr Honor Calnan

CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation

Retaining the Red in Australian Lamb Meat

The colour of lamb meat is crucial to customer appeal and strongly contributes to product value. Lamb meat currently has a shelf life of only 2 days before it is discounted due to browning, representing a major economic limitation to the Australian lamb industry. My PhD investigates factors influencing the oxidative process of lamb browning, identifying practical methods such as feeding vitamin E and selective breeding that can improve the colour stability and thus value of Australian lamb meat.

Mr Jake Lacey

Poultry CRC

How Gut Microbiota Contributes to Health and Productivity

Gut bacteria work like a community to modulate the immune system and defend the host. However too often the ecosystem of a healthy microbiota is thrown out of balance by pathogenic bacteria. In poultry farms necrotic enteritis caused by C. perfingens is on the rise and results in poor welfare and a loss of productivity due to damage to the intestinal wall. Some birds show a natural resistance to the disease and by investigating the bacteria in these birds we may be able to find a probiotic cure.

Mr Michael Scott

CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction

Evaluation of Energy-Efficiency, Emission Pricing and Pre-Concentration for the Optimised Development of a Copper-Gold Deposit

This project evaluates the economic and production impacts from improvements in the energy-efficiency of mining and mineral processing activities and the introduction of emission pricing on the optimal development of a low-grade, copper-gold deposit in Australia. The research also examines the incorporation of pre-concentration strategies at the operation, which remove uneconomic material prior to expensive and energy and emission intensive production processes.

Mr Luigi Vandi

CRC for Advanced Composite Structures

Understanding Interphase Formation in Thermoset Composite Welding

Composite materials have become the material of choice for manufacturing aircraft structures. However unlike metals, carbon-epoxy materials cannot normally be welded together, making their assembly very challenging. My project is centred on a new technology patented by the CRC-ACS, allowing these materials to be welded together. My PhD focuses on unravelling the molecular mechanisms at the interphase formed between these materials to ensure this process can be implemented on future aircrafts.

Miss Binbin Zhang


Fabrication of Drug Delivery System

3D printing is changing our life in many aspects, from 3D printed food to airplane parts. How could it benefit the current research in life science? Printing human organs is of course exciting and ambitious, however, using this new technology to perfect readily available medical devices seems more achievable in the near future. My research is to develop an integrating drug delivery system into the cochlear implant using 3D printing to prevent the detrimental post-surgery inflammatory response.


Accelerators supercharging start-ups

Tony Peacock recently attended the launch of the APEC Accelerator Network in Taichung, Taiwan. He reports here on how Business Accelerators are helping tech start-ups speed up business development.

It has never been easier to start a company. Accelerators are a pressure cooker environment to rapidly develop an early stage start-up business. Through shared work space, peer support and intense coaching, young companies can get themselves into shape for investment – or they might decide as a result of the acceleration process to fail early and move on.

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The Hon. Bob Hawke AC to Deliver the Slatyer Address on Science and Society

The Hon. Bob Hawke AC will deliver the Professor Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society at this year’s CRC Association Conference, Innovating with Asia 2014, in Perth on 20th and 21st of May.

Professor Slatyer AC had a vision for world’s best practice in collaboration between industry, universities and other research organisations, particularly long-distance collaboration. In 1990 this vision became reality with the funding of a Cooperative Research Centres program.

The Co-operative Research Centre Association established the annual Ralph Slatyer Address in acknowledgement of this legacy and to his contribution to Australian science.

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Round 16 Announcement

Well, it took a while for the announcement to come out, but when it finally did, the Industry Minister didn’t muck around. He has funded a couple of bold new CRCs, strongly backed current performers and has given clear direction that he wants a highly potent manufacturing CRC.

Once again, the CRC Program has funded successful CRCs for the amounts sought. The Round was initially announced by Chris Evans (14 months, but three Ministers back) with $240 million available and $50 quarantined for manufacturing CRCs. Since that time the Lowitja Institute (CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health), the Antarctic CRC and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC were all funded as “priority public good CRCs” to a total of $97 million. With $186 million announced today and an unknown amount reserved for the combined manufacturing CRC, the government looks to have used every dollar available to it.

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Still No Word On CRC Announcement

Applicants for Round 16 Cooperative Research Centres remain in limbo on an announcement of the outcomes. An announcement was widely expected this week after the Department of Industry informed applicants last week that it expected the announcement to come “early” in the week. The published timetable for Round 16 indicated that applicants could expect the announcement to come in December 2013.

The Federal Election and change of government led to several weeks of delay in the conduct of the November interviews but it was understood that the CRC Committee provided its recommendations to the Minister for Industry before Christmas.

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Sustainability Leader Honoured

We would like to congratulate Scientia Professor Deo Prasad, CEO of the CRC for Low Carbon Living, who has been honoured with an appointment as an Officer of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO). Professor Prasad has made an outstanding contribution to low carbon research through his work on high performance buildings and the challenge of bringing sustainability research into front-end design and construction

Professor Prasad had the following to say
“It is an absolute pleasure to receive this honour. As someone who was born and raised overseas, it’s wonderful to think that I can make such a valuable contribution to Australia, and that my contribution can be honoured by my adopted homeland in such a meaningful way,”

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No News: Neither Good Nor Bad

The Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, has not yet made the announcement of successful CRCs in the 16th selection round; originally anticipated for December.

The CRC Association’s understanding is that no one should read anything negative in the delay. We understand it is a very nervous and tense time, and successful bids have a limited time to pull their contracts together, however, we believe government support for the program remains strong and we don’t expect any surprises. The announcement is always scheduled for December but has floated into January and even February on occasion.

The Association is encouraging the announcement as soon as possible and will put out a newsletter as soon as we hear anything.

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CRCs Show Off in Canberra

Thirty-four of Australia’s Cooperative Research Centres were on display yesterday in Australian Parliament House in Canberra. The new Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, welcomed the CRCs to Parliament House and launched the CRC Association’s Magazine, Know How and the Early Career Researchers Showcase, sponsored by CSIRO.

Mr. Macfarlane expressed delight that a rescheduling of Cabinet until later in the week had freed up some diary time, which he then spent visiting every CRC display. In his speech, the Minister indicated his passion for innovation and it was on display as he interrogated researchers and users on the work of their particular CRC. Mr Macfarlane was joined by dozens of parliamentary colleagues who took the opportunity to learn more about the outcomes from the CRC Program.
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Part 2: Research-Industry Engagement: (Not Always) Love at First Sight

Last newsletter, I covered “relevance” and, now that you have it, put it away – for the moment. Relevance only gave you an indication of who to engage with, not what to engage them on. You’ll need it later but only after you’ve built trust.

Building Trust

The Maister, Green and Galford book “The Trusted Advisor” is an excellent read. At its heart is the trust equation, where:

Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy

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CRCs a Meeting of Minds

The CRC Program has recently featured in the recent Engineers Australia magazine, in an article titled “CRCs a bridge to engineering innovation”. If you would like to read the article download the PDF here.

Part 1: Research-Industry Engagement: (Not Always) Love at First Sight

My experiences have given me an insight into the value of education and research to business and industry, but also some of the challenges of successful engagement.

Given that this is an article for the CRC Association Newsletter, I’ll refer to CRCs but I use the same approach for any service-based organisation.

CRCs, the good news is that industry needs you. The bad news is that many don’t know it yet.

Our local industries need to build global quality and scale, requiring a continuous stream of knowledge. CRCs are not only knowledge-rich but also generators of new knowledge. So why doesn’t industry always beat a path to your door?

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Innovating with Asia Conferece

The CRC Association’s Conference, Innovating with Asia 2014, will be held on 20th and 21st of May in Western Australia at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. The conference will look outwards and examine the world’s best practice and innovations from the fastest growing economies.

The featured speakers for the event will include Peggy Liu, Chairperson for JUCCE, a non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the greening of China, Thomas Barlow, CEO of Thomas Barlow Advisory Services, and author of Between The Eagle And The Dragon, Professor Thomas Allen, Emeritus Professor of Organization Studies at MIT Sloan School of Management, who developed the communication theory, know as the  Allen Curve and Madani Sahari of the Malaysian Auto Institute.

Registrations will be open soon.

So You Want to Meet with the Minister’s Office?

Well, the new Government has been elected, new Ministers sworn in, advisers appointed and the new Parliament will sit next month. Before you reach for the phone to arrange a meeting with a Minister’s office, here’s a few things to consider.

1. The Purpose of the Meeting 
A Minister’s office is a busy place, particularly during Parliamentary sitting weeks when everyone descends on Canberra. Aim for meetings of 15-20 minutes with a short prepared agenda outlining what you want to discuss.
Your aim is to build a relationship not make a…

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Sheep CRC featured on Landline

The Sheep CRC has recently been featured on landline showing off their Wool Research Program. The piece features their two new innovative instruments, The Wool ComforMeter and Wool HandleMeter, used to measure the next-to-skin comfort of wool. If  you missed the program click here.

CRC Association Magazine

The  new magazine connecting science with business.  Revealing knowledge that transforms our world, showing how research turns into commercial success and demonstrating how science is making large-scale impacts. Issue One out December 2013. For information about unique advertising opportunities that reach an exclusive audience of researchers, business leaders and policy makers, email

Macfarlane Minister to Extraordinary Response

Although details are yet to be finalised, Ian Macfarlane the Member for Groom in Queensland will be responsible for science and innovation in the Abbott Government.

As the Prime Minister-elect made his announcement yesterday, social media exploded with concern that “science” was not included in the title of any Minister. Similar reactions were seen in other areas in response to what Tony Abbott termed “title deflation” but perhaps the prominence of scientists on Twitter amplified the response. ABC’s PM program and a number of this morning’s newspapers have run “who will scientists call?” stories.

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Round 16 Shortlist Announcement

  • Advanced Manufacturing CRC
  • Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre
  • Capital Markets CRC
  • The CRC for Cyber Security (CyberCRC)
  • CRC for Increasing Agricultural Soil Productivity
  • CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation
  • Data to Decisions CRC
  • The Hearing CRC
  • Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRC
  • Rail Manufacturing CRC
  • Space Environment Management CRC
  • Wildlife Biodiversity Cooperative Research Centre

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New Career Planning Tool for CRC Researchers

All researchers from CRC Association members now have access to the ‘gold standard’ career planning tool. Developed by Vitae for the UK Research Councils and now endorsed by the European Union, the Research Development Framework (RDF) Planner gives researchers a powerful tool to gain insight into their career development.  READ MORE >>>